The maverick filmmaker followed up with 5 more tweets on this topic, explaining his stance and why he chose to attach the hashtag ‘DeathOfRemakes’. ETimes reached out to RGV to get more clarity on his critical assessment of Hindi remakes of South films. Excerpts from a freewheeling conversation…
When you posted the #DeathOfRemakes hashtag, pointing out the case of Jersey, were you being critical of just one film or were you referring to all Hindi remakes of South films?
It’s not about most remakes being flops. Jersey is an example because it’s the latest remake. The makers always want to remake a South film with a local star. The Hindi producers will cast a Hindi star, take the story from a Telugu star’s movie and remake it. That’s what happened with Jersey is as well.
What do you think went wrong with the remake of Jersey?
Jersey was made with an initial budget of 100 crores, that too a remake of a Telugu film featuring Nani. Today, all Telugu films, in their original format are working well. Whether it’s films featuring Ram Charan, Yash, NTR or Prabhas. Instead of casting a Hindi star and spending 100 crores, they could have just spent money on dubbing the Telugu version and releasing it in the North. Most Telugu dubbed movies are working well in the North markets. That could have been done in merely 10 lakhs.
How do you justify your ‘DeathOfRemakes’ opinion?
This will affect the business because in the future no one will want to sell remake rights, and instead South producers will prefer to try their luck with dubbed versions instead. If Bollywood doesn’t know how to make popular films like SS Rajamouli and Prashant Neel then they’re going to have to rely on remake rights. But if they don’t get the rights, then that’s the death of remakes.
Akshay Kumar has just announced a remake of the Tamil film Soorarai Pottru, what do u have to say about that?
As I said, there won’t be anymore new remakes because the original makers will release their dubbed versions themselves.
What is that one thing Bollywood needs to learn from the South?
No one needs to learn anything from anyone. A new breed of film makers will arise whose sensibilities will be more closer to the mass audience.
Do you feel filmmakers in Bollywood are scared?
I would say they are confused and in denial.
Yes, the South used to rely on Bollywood in 70s and 80s during the hey days of Amitabh Bachchan.
In the 90s, the music companies took over Bollywood and started using films as vehicles for selling their music, which killed the masala action hero films. But the South never stopped that trend.